TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Dr. Conrad Murray

Michael Jackson Jury

Will NOT Be Sequestered

8/25/2011 10:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0825_Conrad_Murray_getty_bn
The Dr. Conrad Murray jury will NOT be sequestered, because the judge does not want jurors to feel like inmates.

Judge Michael Pastor just ruled ... even though Michael Jackson's death was incredibly high profile, he feels confident sufficient measures will be in place to make sure the jury is not contaminated or harassed.

To ensure protection, jurors will each get meals and snacks in the jury room -- not in surrounding lunch areas open to the media and public.

Murray's legal team had filed docs earlier this month asking to sequester the jury -- because they were worried the jury would be tainted by large-scale "character assassinations" ... specifically by TV pundits like Nancy Grace.

Judge Pastor said money is not the issue, even though sequestration is expensive.

51 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

HumanNature    

OhWell


HOW CAN CON "QUACK" THE MURDERER BE INNOCENT WHEN HE TOLD THE POLICE "TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTH"??????????


THE "QUACK" ADMITTED TO POLICE THAT HE PRESCRIBED, ORDERED AND ADMINISTER A COMBINATION OF DRUGS THAT RESULTED IN MJ DEATH!!!!


HIS OWN WORDS!!!!!

1104 days ago
32.

Eleonora49    

Walk through the Park. The Park I knew. Look at the trees with its fallen leaves. Oh I can see fall on its way. The colors in nature so changing, so clear. Red, orange, brown.The sun kissed the Tree all around. So a delight. So beautiful and new. Red cardinal sitting and looking bedazzeled at you. How beautiful is my little Park. Sitting here in love with nature, near an old loving pond. The Fish are jumping today, trying to catch their favorite snack.I can see the Deer looking at me. "Where is my Treat?" Oh how Beautiful it is in Pittsbugh, to be at this Time of the year.How blessed we all are and don't ever realze it. No, I have to say I do love Autumn in its fullest here. Its like a rainbow. Sun kissed colors coming on to our Trees. Here in this special place is my so beloved Park. Times like these, when Fall is coming. I realize it has been so long since Michael died. How sad.His eyes will never see this Beauty we all can still enjoy.How sad.

1104 days ago
33.

HumanNature    

OhWell


I'M A "LEGAL EAGLE" WHO TOLD YOU THAT JUDGE PASTOR WILL NOT SEQUESTER THE JURY!!!!


I KNOW AND STUDY THE "LAW"!!!!

1104 days ago
34.

Pegasus    

Judge denies Conrad Murray's request to sequester jurySee show times »By Michael Martinez, CNNAugust 25, 2011 11:16 p.m. EDT

Sequestered jury sought in Jackson trialSTORY HIGHLIGHTS
A prosecutor argues there should be "a level of trust granted for jurors"
Judge Pastor says sequestered jurors can feel like "inmates"
He says sequestration would cost $500,000 but adds cost isn't a factor
Murray is accused of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's 2009 death
Los Angeles (CNN) -- A Los Angeles County judge on Thursday denied the defense's request to sequester the jury for the coming trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician accused in Michael Jackson's death.

Lawyers for the doctor -- who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death -- had contended that media hype surrounding the case meant it was prudent to isolate the jury during the trial.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor disagreed, saying he did not want jurors to feel like "inmates," supervised even when they contacted loved ones. And he expressed confidence that they would heed warnings to avoid exposure to media coverage.

"I do not find sequestration to be the answer in this case," he said.

In addition, Pastor rejected a defense request that television cameras be removed from the courtroom during certain parts of the trial.

The Los Angeles coroner has ruled that Jackson's death, which occurred June 25, 2009, was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, combined with other drugs.

Prosecutors have accused Murray, one of the pop star's doctors, of having a role in the overdose. Jury selection is set to begin next month in his trial. Opening statements are set for September 27. Both the defense and prosecution told the judge they expect the trial to last four to five weeks, while Pastor indicated he thought it could be done in less time.

Michael Jackson's 'secret' talent

Michael Jackson: Fact versus fiction RELATED TOPICS
Conrad Murray
Michael Jackson
Los Angeles County
Murray's attorneys, Nareg Gourjian and Edward Chernoff, had contended, in court papers, that "there is reasonable expectation that Dr. Murray's trial will be the most publicized in history."

They argued that the jury should be sequestered to ensure Murray receives a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment.

"This is an unusual trial," the attorneys said. "Without question, Michael Jackson is one of the most well-known figures in the world. His death, memorial service and every court appearance thereafter involving Dr. Murray has attracted unprecedented media coverage."

Prosecutors didn't file court papers in response to Murray's motion, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney's office. Rather, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren argued in open court Thursday that confining the jury to a hotel was unnecessary and would make the jurors "essentially inmates."

There should be "a level of trust granted for jurors," said Walgren.

During an unsuccessful attempt at jury selection earlier this year, only one potential juror out of several hundred questioned claimed to have heard nothing about the Murray case, and that potential juror, a woman, couldn't speak English, Murray's lawyers said.

At the time, attorneys didn't consider sequestering the jury. "Then along came Casey Anthony," Murray's attorneys said, citing the murder case as the impetus for their motion. Anthony was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to law enforcement.

The case, and the sensationalized media coverage around it, "demonstrated the danger that is created to a fair trial when basic information is managed for the purpose of entertainment and television ratings," Murray's attorneys had said.

The attorneys singled out HLN television host Nancy Grace for "character assassination" against Anthony and "virtually nonstop on-air abuse of not only the defendant but of the jurors and defense attorneys involved."

All news organizations, including ABC News, Fox and InSession, benefited from the Anthony trial, Murray's attorneys said in court records. But some, such as HLN, "cleaned up": That network "drew its biggest total audience in its 29-year history with more than 5 million viewers," Murray's attorneys said.

Turner Broadcasting -- a division of Time Warner -- operates HLN, InSession and CNN, the attorneys pointed out in court papers.

Though there was no suggestion that HLN or CNN staffers tried to interview jurors during that trial, the judge warned media outlets to avoid contacting jurors during this trial.

"That (media) organization proceeds at their own risk if that person or organization interferes with the process of justice," Pastor said.

Still, he said he believes that strongly admonishing jurors to avoid media related to the trial will be effective.

He also addressed a defense contention that sequestering the jury could be considered cost-effective, if it might save the added the cost caused by a retrial.

Sequestering the jury would cost $500,000, but the judge -- while acknowledging that "the state of California is undergoing severe financial problems," as is its court system -- insisted cost didn't play a role in his decision.

"While I raise the issue of cost, that is not an overriding factor," Pastor said. "Justice trumps everything."

Chernoff, one of Murray's attorneys, asked the judge to modify his earlier ruling allowing cameras into the courtroom during the trial. Chernoff asked the judge to remove the camera when certain testimony arises during the trial and argued that some TV commentators act like "quasi-jurors."

The judge rejected that request, citing First Amendment freedoms.

"Yes, there will be talking heads" commenting about the trial, the judge said.

Then the judge added: "Frequently, talking heads are talking through other body parts than their heads."

The next hearing is Monday at 1:30 p.m. PT on a prosecution motion to exclude or limit testimony by 26 defense witnesses.

Legal experts and defense attorneys not related to the Murray case offered differing opinions to CNN on the efficacy of sequestering a jury.

"The defense wants to sequester the jury because it has seen that sequestered juries vote not guilty," said Marcia Clark, the former prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, another heavily publicized case in which the jury was sequestered. "I don't really think there's any need to sequester the jury. To the extent that people know about this case, know about Michael Jackson or Conrad Murray, it's over. It's already been done. It'd be like closing the barn doors after the horse is out."

Ellyn Garofalo, the attorney who represented Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, who was acquitted on charges of conspiring to keep Anna Nicole Smith addicted to prescription drugs, said that the usefulness of sequestering a jury "is a really tough question."

"I think there is good reason to sequester a jury," Garofalo said. "I also tend to think -- and this is more of a personal opinion -- that a sequestered jury is not a happy jury and may be more anxious to get through the testimony than a jury that is not sequestered."

Richard Gabriel, a jury consultant on the Simpson and Casey Anthony cases, said sequestering a jury is stressful and expensive.

"The difficulty is, I don't think a judge has ever gone as far to say during this trial, please do not use the Internet, period. Just like they say, don'*****ch television during the trial, they say if you see something about the case, please ignore that news item," Gabriel said.

"As a practical matter I think it (would) be difficult" to sequester the jury, "partly because the county of Los Angeles has no money to do that. It is very, very expensive," Gabriel said. "It puts a pretty big strain on a jury because you are taking them out of a familiar setting and you are putting them into obviously a highly pressurized setting that basically says you are in this trial 24-7 for the length of the trial."

1104 days ago
35.

Lynn    

Why hasn't anyone killed murray yet anyway??? He should have been dead!! And for those who are still hating and spreading lies about MJ.. YOU can eat a ****!!!!!

1104 days ago
37.

sofi    

Head held up high? What planet were you living on and were you stoned at the time? At one point he had to be forced to come to court in his pajamas.

I was living on planet earth but i wasn't stoned like you are.

Yes Michael held his head up high even on that terrible day when he arrived to court in pajamas because he tripped in his shower,was injured and taken to the hospital but was forced to appear in court by the judge so he had no choice.

Find out for yourself and then play it smart with me.

1103 days ago
38.

Pegasus    

Lets send Dr. Murray to N.C. or anywhere on the East Coast and let Hurricane Irene have him!

1103 days ago
39.

LadyD    

Prayers for the Jackson family and Michael's children. May their bond of love be their greatest strength.

1103 days ago
40.

Barbie    

I'm glad the judge ruled this way. Because if recent history has taught us anything, sequestering a jury can have profound results in verdicts.

1103 days ago
41.

Pegasus    

Barb:

I apparently did not say it correctly. But my measning was this - Lets offer up Murray to God in the Hurricane in place of all of the thousands of innocent people there who are apt to be killed. I meant no disrespect or anything to the people there who are experiencing it now. And I apologize if I came across as being insensitive and mean - was not my intention by a long shot! My prayers are with everyone remaining in the Hurricane's path. I would just prefer to see Murray get killed by God and this thing than thousands of innocent people.

1102 days ago
42.

MAURÍCIO ADOLFO GOMES DA SILVA     

''MICHAEL JACKSON'' FOI THE BEST IN THE ''WORD ETERNIAMENTE!!!! VALEU MICHAEL FIQUE COM ''DEUS''
MAURÍCIO DE BRAZIL!!!!!! 01/SETEMBER 2011/

1098 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3

Around The Web